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Very & unopened hair extensions and my statutory rights **RESOLVED**


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Hi everyone. I wonder if I can get some advice, as I do believe my statutory rights are being violated, but am not a lawyer.


I purchased some hair extensions on Very.co.uk and it stated the following message on the product page:


Non returnable under our Approval Guarantee, once installed or connected.


I received the product in a brown postage box and the extensions were inside within a sealed plastic bag. I could see that the hair was not the colour I wanted, so I returned them in their sealed packaging with the seal intact. They were not installed or connected, so should have been returnable according to the sites description


A few days later, they were returned to me with a charge claiming they were not returnable because the seal had been broken. I double checked the product and the seal on the bag is still intact, so I wrote to them for clarification with photos.


The lady I have been in communication with is very vague and simply said: "I am advising that the seal on the box cannot be removed due to health and hygiene reasons . There is a see through strip on the box so that the item can be viewed from there ."


The only box that exists is the outer postage box, and there were no holes or otherwise on this.


it seems that I was not allowed to open the outer brown box that the product was sent in,

but this is silly as I couldn't verify the contents without opening that box.

Nor were there any markings to suggest that the return would be void if this was opened.


What are my rights here?



As I said before, the plastic bag around the hair is still sealed,

and the hair is within another plastic wrap and cardboard backing within that one.

The only broken seal is on the postage box itself.


I'd appreciate any assistance. Thanks

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They are talking rubbish. What is the value of the item?

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This is what I thought too. Thanks. It's worth £135


The lady who I'm communicating with seems to be in the middle and only provides one line and vague responses. I still have no clarity as to what specifically is the problem. I've requested a detailed account of the reasons why the return is refused, so I hope this will be cleared up soon.

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I suppose that you paid with a card. I suggest that you ask your bank for a chargeback.

Failing that, begin a small claim in the county court

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It's on credit with Very. I've not paid for it, but the cost has been added to my account as an outstanding balance. I've just managed to get my credit score back in order after 4 years of hard work, so I'm really protective towards it. If I pursue a claim, which seems to be logical, I just want to make sure I protect my credit.


If the customer service rep gets back to me without a solution, should I mention small claims? Could I suggest the amount be put on hold pending an investigation?

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Get on Twitter and complain to them. Bet they sort it quick. @verynetwork



If you think I have helped you, please add to my reputation by clicking the star button to the left.


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Hi Everyone. Thanks for all the responses.


Unfortunately, the customer service rep is refusing to provide further information. This is the recent message after I requested a detailed account of the issues...


Thank you for your email


I can only advise you what the returns centre have said and they state the seal has been broken



Regards ?


I can write back and reiterate the fact that the seal is not broken, but I have done this 4 times now and provided photographic evidence which the rep has accepted. I just don't know what more I can do with this person as she clearly isn't using any common sense to assess this case.


A company of this size, you would think that they would be more helpful. It seems like every email has landed on deaf ears.

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I have just sent this final email before pursuing other avenues.


Dear Ms Mullen


I write to you with reference to your email below and our emails preceding it.


I have sought legal advice with reference to this matter and it is advised that under the Distance Selling Regulations, a customer has the right to return items within 14 working days from delivery providing the customer has handled the goods in a manner that does not diminish the value of the goods beyond what is necessary to establish the nature, characteristics and function.


As I have reiterated on several occasions throughout the course of our correspondence, the seals on the product itself are still intact, and I even provided you with photographic evidence of this on the 19th November. In response to this, it was suggested "I do believe it is the seal on the cardboard box that is in question .”


Once I questioned this, the response I then received reiterated "I am advising that the seal on the box cannot be removed due to health and hygiene reasons . There is a see through strip on the box so that the item can be viewed from there .”


There was no viewing hole the cardboard mailing box, and the plastic wrap around the extension remains sealed. As such, the refusal to allow my return based on the postage box being opened is clearly a violation of my consumer rights as opening this outer container constitutes what is necessary to establish the nature, characteristics and function of the product in question.


I expect this item to be returned and refunded as soon as possible and, in the instance that you cannot personally help me with my claim, I would request that you forward this email onto the person who does have the authority to assist appropriately.


If there is no resolution forthcoming, I will be forced to take this matter up further with the Trading Standards, and small claims, who I am sure will be very interested to learn of this incident.


You may, of course, view the standards yourself at the following address: http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/cgi-bin/glos/bus1item.cgi?file=*badv710-1001.txt#tsi5


I trust you will respond promptly.

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This is the response I have received


Distant selling can only be quoted within the first 14 days of receipt in writing or by email.


It is now day 15 therefore we cannot accept Distant Selling in your case .



I've sent a complaint to Shop Direct and Citizen's Advice Bureau.

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That is not correct of course, as you first returned it well within the 14 days! you don't have to quote the DSRegs. It is a statutory right!

when you buy things on line, the reason you can return is after due inspection of the goods ( i.e. examining after taking out of packaging as you would if purchasing in a shop ) it was not suitable.



Suggest you try again and remind them that you did return well within the 14 days, and you had the right to examine the goods.

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In that case you will have to start court action.

Now you should send them a letter before action or you will take them to court and give them 7 days to respond, then start a claim on line (MCOL ). that may make them see sense?

you have a very strong case with legislation on your side, but nothing is guaranteed!.

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I really appreciate everyone's input on this. This forum has helped me so many times over the years.


I have good news. My complaint to Shop Direct (Very HQ) worked out successfully and they have overridden the returns decision and have booked a collection of the item for Tuesday. No apology or anything, but at least it's all sorted out.


This experience has made me realise how insecure shopping over the internet is. Although we have rights, it may be time consuming and expensive to act on them if a company abuses them. Had this not have been sorted out, I would have probably let it slide and forked out the cost of the product rather than spend time on court proceedings, and some companies probably bank on that. Lesson learned.


Thanks all.

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